Pellum Wants to Make Impact

Romeo Pellum, the 5-11, 160-pound cornerback from Santa Fe Springs, Calif., starts his high school senior season tonight, and is well aware that many schools -- including UCLA -- will be watching him to see if they want to offer him a scholarship...

As he begins his senior season tonight, Santa Fe Springs (Calif.) cornerback Romeo Pellum (5-11, 160) knows how crucial the first few games are for him with the prospect of his first scholarship offer.

"I just gotta go play my game," said Pellum. "There is a lot of pressure on me to play up to my potential and play up to the hype."

Since the contact period began last week, Pellum has been called by Washington State, San Diego State and Utah. "Coach Yarno from Wazzu just called me tonight. Coach Roderick from Utah called me last week and they saw me at the UCLA-Utah game last week and waved. San Diego State, Coach Inge, said he wanted to come see me play on Thursday, but he's coming by on Friday instead," said Pellum.

Pellum attended the UCLA-Utah game last weekend. "I had fun," said Pellum. "It was my first time ever on the field and at one of their games. I saw Raymond (Carter) and Brian (Price). I also saw Courtney (Viney). Raymond and I met at the Combine and I hung out with him and all the Crenshaw guys at B2G. I'm not going to be able to go to the game on Saturday (against Rice), but I'm staying in touch with them."

Pellum said that four schools topped his list. "UCLA, Cal, Utah and San Diego State are at the top right now, then the rest of the Pac-10, Washington State and Oregon," said Pellum. "I want to try and start setting official visits up and I'm looking to take one on the 28th of September, but I'm not sure where. Anthony Boyles and I talk about taking trips together. I know I want to take all five."

With the move to Santa Fe, Pellum took himself out of the limelight that would have come had he returned to Gardena (Calif.) Serra, where three of the top 11 players in the state reside: Da'John Harris, Apai Tuihalamaka and Boyles. "If I was still at Serra, I'd be one of the defensive captains and one of the main guys on defense," said Pellum. "But I feel like I found my home at Santa Fe. We've got good coaches and a lot of dedicated players."

Santa Fe is ranked preseason #1 in the CIF Southeast Section and gets their season started tonight when they host Victor Valley. The next two games are against two programs who've been successful over the years, Peninsula and Fountain Valley.

"I'm starting at cornerback and may rotate in at safety in cover 2," said Pellum. "I'm also going to play receiver and return kicks. I've got a lot to prove and I feel like I'm an underdog."

Last fall, when Pellum was at Gardena (Calif.) Serra, he had 32 tackles, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, six passes defensed and one touchdown scored.

Academically, Pellum has a 2.6 GPA and scored an 800 on the SAT (the two parts that the NCAA uses), but he plans to take both the ACT and the SAT this fall.

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